One bag of microwave popcorn-extra butter flavor [try not to judge- you'll thank me later!]
1 Cup of white sugar
1/3 Cup light corn syrup
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking soda
Pop the corn in the microwave per package directions and then sift through the corn to pick out any loose kernals or old maids. Put the corn in a bowl and set it next to the stove.
Have ready a 1/2 sheet pan on the counter along with hot pads handy.
In an a tall (6-8 quart) pot, melt the butter, then add the sugar, corn syrup and salt. Mix to combine using a large heat proof spatula until the mixture is all one color. Keep the spatula handy right next to the stove where you are working. Have your baking soda in a small dish ready to add later.
Bring the sugar/butter mixture to a boil using a candy thermometer and keep a close eye on it; resist the urge to stir the pot, but rather pick up the pot from time to time and swirl it in a gentle circle motion to avoid any dark spots from forming in one area. Continue to boil until the mixture reaches 310 degrees (hard crack stage) on the candy thermometer. Immediately turn off the heat and add the baking soda and stir using the heat proof spatula. Don’t spend too much time doing this step; try to make it quick! Add all of the popcorn to the pot and using the spatula fold the corn into the caramel mixture until all of the corn is coated. Use the hot pads to get a good grip on the pot and dump out the caramel corn onto the sheet pan; smooth out gently with the spatula until the corn is fairly flat. Let the corn cool and it will harden as it cools. I like to flip the caramel corn over after is has cooled a while to avoid it getting to flat; you can break up the corn into pieces after it cools. P.S. You can add salted ”party peanuts” to this too (add them with the popcorn before you add the caramel); It is a nice alternative. Enjoy!
People will tell you how addicting it is. I have actually bribed people to do [legal] things for me with this stuff. They cave every time. Bring it to your next picnic. Small children will follow you around…